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Car of the Month

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Car of the Month - June 2016
Rolls-Royce Wraith, 1939, #WXA106
Saloon by Erdmann & Rossi


Rolls-Royce Wraith

From the late 20s onward Erdmann & Rossi, Berlin, held a position as Rolls-Royce's authorized dealer in Germany. The political circumstances during the 30ies made it increasingly difficult to sell Rolls-Royce or Bentley motor cars in "The Reich". With paintwork in dark black at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show a Saloon by Erdmann & Rossi on chassis Rolls-Royce Wraith, #WXA106, was exhibited. Entered into the dealer's documents as regards their "Kommission 3214" has been a note the car was acquired by Dr. Michael Karl Reichsgraf von Althann, Castle Mittenwalde in Silesia, on the condition that the car would be delivered with entirely new paintwork in "Fischsilber" which translates to "fish-silver".

Rolls-Royce Wraith

It is almost forgotten now that prior to World War II there has been neither material nor method to apply what nowadays is known as "metallic paintwork". There had been various attempts to arrange for a "jewelescent" colour, e.g. a technique of crushing particels from the inside of seashells and add that to a colour-mixture. The late Johannes Beeskow, who had been a Managing Director of coachbuilders Jos. Neuss, Erdmann & Rossi, Berlin, many years ago did inform they preferred a different approach: milled particles from fishes' skins were mixed into clear lacquer and several coats of that were applied over a basic paintwork. Hence the designation "Fischsilber = fish-silver" was of descriptive character. 

Rolls-Royce Wraith

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Rupert Stuhlemmer, the doyen of research as regards Erdmann & Rossi, has compiled an interesting illustrated report on a curious aspect from this car's history: it had ignited particular interest of "The Fuehrer" Adolf Hitler and his Nazi-entourage during their visit at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show. The later fate of this car, requisitioned by Soviet troops and suffering from decades of neglection before a dedicated collector arranged for a top-standard restoration would certainly deserve a detailed, separate report, too.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Here it might be sufficient to state that nowadays this motor car is presented in immaculate condition. Silver-metallic paintwork guarantees an outward-appearance that is almost identical to what it looked like when delivered originally. An impression how the car would look in a different colour is available "by pressing a button": Andrea Brianza has arranged for a 1:43 sized model of this car in a limited edition and a few from that he ordered to be painted not silver-metallic

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Rolls-Royce Wraith